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  • Need some help with a WRX Installation.

    I've been lurking on these forums for a pretty good amount of time, and I've finally collected most of the parts I need to really kick this project off.

    I'm using a Mac Mini as my carputer, and I have a 7" Lilliput LCD screen.

    It would seem that buying a bezel from TMZ is the way to go for mounting the screen behind the existing radio bezel, but here's where I need help.

    I'm not sure how to get sound from the mac-mini to the speakers. I will no longer have a head unit because I'll be using the computer, so I'll only have the harness in the double-din space. It seems like I need a 4 channel amplifier to power the door speakers, but I don't understand what to do next. The Mac Mini only offers 1/8" phono out...how will this work with 4 channel audio in my car? What kind of amp should I buy, any recommendations? I'd like to keep the stock speakers, I think they sound fine and I'm not really concerned with upgrading them right now.

    So as I mull this over, I arrive at the #1 question. How do I get wires from my harness to the amplifier which will be mounted either in place of the non-functioning stock sub under the passenger seat, or in the trunk. *sigh* Tough.

    Thanks to anyone who can help.

  • #2
    you can get a cable thats 1/8" jack to phono, one end in the mac, other in the amp, get a wiring harnes adator to use factory wiring and your done.

    also, in the FAQ there is thread that shows you just this.
    Audio: Alpine PXA-H700 DSP, Rockford Fosgate Punch P4004 amp, P152S Comps and Alpine SWR-1242D Sub
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    Type-R Mini

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dan__wright
      you can get a cable thats 1/8" jack to phono, one end in the mac, other in the amp, get a wiring harnes adator to use factory wiring and your done.

      also, in the FAQ there is thread that shows you just this.
      I'm still not really clear. I understand using 1/8" phono to RCAs to go to the amp, but if the amp is going to be located somewhere other than behind the screen (which it obviously can not possibly go) how do I get the wires that terminate at the harness into the amp?

      |macmini|------(phono-to-rca)-------|AMPLIFIER|------harness inside the dash?

      The wires are terminating at the speakers in the doors or at the harness clip inside the dash. How do I get the amplifier into the mix?

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      • #4
        hey nolan

        i'm doing the planning on my wrx also. so i will share the wealth of info i've found

        http://www.geocities.com/svxdc/WRX-pinout.htm

        is the pinout schematics. i will prob buy a reverse cable thingy liket that, i just run the currect wires to the amp. that way, everything is still reversable.

        i'm not going the mac mini route like you, mostly b/c of frodo player. but feel free to exchange info back and forth since we are in the same boat, or car... or ... you konw what i mean!

        update:
        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=32430
        all the info you need for what you asked for!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NolanSmith
          How do I get wires from my harness to the amplifier which will be mounted either in place of the non-functioning stock sub under the passenger seat, or in the trunk.
          Your amp will have a harness that has bare wires for front l/r and rear l/r. You connect those to the harness that was in the back of the stock radio (because that harness also had front and rear l/r). The easiest way to do this is to buy a wiring harness adapter that would allow you to plug an aftermarket head unit into the stock wiring. Plug one end into the harness where the stock radio was. The other end will have bare wires, solder those to the harness that comes with the amp. You can extend the cables as long as needed since you are soldering 2 adapters together. I've got a picture below in case that was confusing.

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          • #6
            Okay. Will this give me 2 channel or 4 channel audio? I'd like to have 4 independant channels, but it would seem like the splitter would only give me two at most. Also...since it's being split, will the volume be affected?

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            • #7
              The example in the picture is for two channel, but the amp is capable of four channel. To get four channel you need a four channel amp and a sound card in the computer that supports four channels. Many support only two, which is how the example is.

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              • #8
                Splitting the signal does degrade it, yes. And it will only be 2 channel sound - the rear will have the same as the front. I don't know too much about macs... can you buy an external (USB or firewire) sound card?
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                • #9
                  Definitely can, and I plan to. That should solve the problem. I created an awesome diagram, but I don't have anywhere to host it. Oh well.

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                  • #10
                    Another 2 options you may consider to have 4 independent without buying 4 chanels amp.
                    Push the Stock HU DEEP inside the dash so that the LCd and sit in front of the HU. Relocate the front panel to somewhere you can control. That is only if the stock HU's front panel can be separate like a detachable face plate. My GM AC/Delco make HU can do that, but my Matrix doesn't have enought room to push the HU deeper. That is why I opt to buy a new HU and relocate other thing around.

                    Another option is buy a cheap/capable after market HU with AUX in and install in in the glove box. Relocate the face place if you want.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MatrixPC
                      Another 2 options you may consider to have 4 independent without buying 4 chanels amp.
                      Push the Stock HU DEEP inside the dash so that the LCd and sit in front of the HU. Relocate the front panel to somewhere you can control. That is only if the stock HU's front panel can be separate like a detachable face plate. My GM AC/Delco make HU can do that, but my Matrix doesn't have enought room to push the HU deeper. That is why I opt to buy a new HU and relocate other thing around.

                      Another option is buy a cheap/capable after market HU with AUX in and install in in the glove box. Relocate the face place if you want.
                      Neither of those will provide 4 channels unless he gets a new sound card. His only sound out on the mini is for headphones - 2 channels. No matter what he does, the only way he can get sound to 2 other speakers is to split what he's already got, so the front and back speakers will always play the same thing, whether driven by an amp or head unit.

                      4 channels = new sound card.
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                      • #12
                        No, he won't get 4 channels effect, but at least he has fadder control.
                        2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
                        89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MatrixPC
                          No, he won't get 4 channels effect, but at least he has fadder control.
                          True! I hadn't thought about that.

                          But if I understood one of his last posts correctly, he may be picking up an external sound card. So hopefully he can get the performance he is looking for.
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                          160GB Seagate S-ATA Drive w/NCQ
                          Dell 20.1" Widescreen LCD

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, I decided to get a USB bus powered 5.1 sound box (25 bucks) that will give me front, rear and sub channels to play with. I won't get the 4 channels like I wanted, but I have to remember this is a car and not my home theater, so I can live with it. Makes my life easier, as I originally wired a Line-Out Converter to my harness so I could add my subs as I am using the STOCK RADIO. That was sort of my desire from the start, was how stock can I make this look. Obviously I'm ditching the radio right now, but that's okay because I'm ready for the screen.

                            Can anyone recommend a 4 ch. amp that's good for 25 RMS x 4? I found one for 60, that's the best I could do. Doesn't matter how it looks or anything, just need it to work.

                            Thanks for everyone who helped.

                            PS, Mac-Minis can't be upgraded beyond USB devices or replacing basic internal components (Optical drive, HDD, RAM, etc)

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                            • #15
                              Out of curiousity, if you're still getting a four channel amp, what exactly is stopping you from four channel sound?

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